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PloS one

Host genetic background influences the response to the opportunistic Pseudomonas aeruginosa infection altering cell-mediated immunity and bacterial replication.


PMID 25268734

Abstract

Pseudomonas aeruginosa is a common cause of healthcare-associated infections including pneumonia, bloodstream, urinary tract, and surgical site infections. The clinical outcome of P. aeruginosa infections may be extremely variable among individuals at risk and patients affected by cystic fibrosis. However, risk factors for P. aeruginosa infection remain largely unknown. To identify and track the host factors influencing P. aeruginosa lung infections, inbred immunocompetent mouse strains were screened in a pneumonia model system. A/J, BALB/cJ, BALB/cAnNCrl, BALB/cByJ, C3H/HeOuJ, C57BL/6J, C57BL/6NCrl, DBA/2J, and 129S2/SvPasCRL mice were infected with P. aeruginosa clinical strain and monitored for body weight and mortality up to seven days. The most deviant survival phenotypes were observed for A/J, 129S2/SvPasCRL and DBA/2J showing high susceptibility while BALB/cAnNCrl and C3H/HeOuJ showing more resistance to P. aeruginosa infection. Next, one of the most susceptible and resistant mouse strains were characterized for their deviant clinical and immunological phenotype by scoring bacterial count, cell-mediated immunity, cytokines and chemokines profile and lung pathology in an early time course. Susceptible A/J mice showed significantly higher bacterial burden, higher cytokines and chemokines levels but lower leukocyte recruitment, particularly neutrophils, when compared to C3H/HeOuJ resistant mice. Pathologic scores showed lower inflammatory severity, reduced intraluminal and interstitial inflammation extent, bronchial and parenchymal involvement and diminished alveolar damage in the lungs of A/J when compared to C3H/HeOuJ. Our findings indicate that during an early phase of infection a prompt inflammatory response in the airways set the conditions for a non-permissive environment to P. aeruginosa replication and lock the spread to other organs. Host gene(s) may have a role in the reduction of cell-mediated immunity playing a critical role in the control of P. aeruginosa infection. These results now provide a basis for mapping genomic regions underlying host susceptibility to P. aeruginosa infection.

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